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Transportation Nation

Frustrations Mount With New Doubts About D.C.'s Streetcar Launch

Monday, December 08, 2014

Businesses and residents along H Street are becoming impatient, as parking spots disappear while the streetcars continue safety runs — without passengers.
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Transportation Nation

D.C. Mum On Key Streetcar Questions As Safety Campaign Begins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The District Department of Transportation is teaching kids about streetcar safety. But students asked questions officials were not able to answer.
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Transportation Nation

Stop Studying Dangerous Intersection and Take Action, Say Capitol Hill Residents

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Residents of a Northeast D.C. neighborhood where a pedestrian was badly injured in a crash say the District is partly to blame for failing to fix a dangerous intersection.

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Transportation Nation

No Bus Lane On 16th Street Northwest Until 2016 At The Earliest

Friday, May 23, 2014

A dedicated bus lane on 16th Street Northwest would help S Line commuters to get work more quickly, but D.C.'s transportation department says the earliest that could happen is...2016.

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Transportation Nation

So Much for the Traffic Calming: D.C. Rolls Back Wisconsin Ave. Street Changes

Monday, March 17, 2014

The District Department of Transportation is preparing to end a traffic-calming project on one of D.C.’s busiest avenues a little more than a year after implementing the changes that quickly provoked a driver backlash.

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Transportation Nation

D.C. Speed Cameras Reducing Crashes: Study

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WAMU

D.C.'s speed cameras are successfully slowing down drivers and reducing crashes and related injuries, according to a study of 87 existing camera locations by the District Department of Transportation.

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Transportation Nation

First Envisioned 21 Years Ago, a D.C. Biking and Walking Path Remains Unfinished

Thursday, December 19, 2013

WAMU

Twenty-one years after plans were first devised -- and seven years after D.C.'s bike master plan called for its completion -- a planned eight mile bicycling and walking trail that may eventually connect Union Station and Silver Spring is still years away from being finished.

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Transportation Nation

VIDEO: D.C.'s First Streetcar Test Goes Well -- If Slowly

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WAMU

The District’s first streetcar in a half-century was towed down its tracks on H Street NE at four miles per hour Monday, the first in what will be months of safety tests before passengers can finally hop aboard next year.

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Transportation Nation

D.C. Takes to Twitter to Shame Cars in Bike Lanes

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

To the delight of D.C.'s cycling community, the District Department of Transportation is photographing -- and tweeting -- pictures of scofflaw cars that use dedicated bike lanes as parking spaces.

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Transportation Nation

VIDEO: What It Takes to Build D.C.'s First Streetcar in 50 Years

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

WAMU

The H Street/Benning Road corridor is undergoing a permanent—and highly anticipated—transformation.

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Transportation Nation

D.C. Studies Nine-Mile Streetcar Line Running Through National Mall

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

WAMU

The District Department of Transportation is launching a one-year study of a nine-mile streetcar line between Buzzard Point in Southwest D.C. and Takoma in Northwest. It's a key segment of a planned 22-mile streetcar system supposed to integrate wiith Metro buses and the D.C. Circulator.

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Transportation Nation

Sharing Is Hard: Church Trumps Cyclists On D.C. Bike Path

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WAMU

A controversy over the design of a protected cycle track in the heart of Washington, D.C. is forcing District transportation planners to balance competing interests in the use of public streets.

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Transportation Nation

D.C. Moves Forward On Transformative Frederick Douglass Bridge Project

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

WAMU

A $900 million vision to transform two D.C. neighborhoods by turning a freeway into a grand boulevard is taking shape. “It's going to be a gateway into the city instead of a thoroughfare out of the city,” says one city official.

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Transportation Nation

VIDEO: The First D.C. Streetcar in 50 Years Takes a Test Drive

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

WAMU

D.C.'s streetcar won't be taking passengers for several more months, but engineers are already putting the vehicles through their paces, testing braking and acceleration -- and a feature called "dead man."

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Transportation Nation

Will D.C.'s Streetcar Open Before 2014? There's a "65/35" Chance

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

WAMU

D.C. officials say they're hopeful the city's new streetcar system will be up and running by the end of the year.

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Transportation Nation

Smoother Sailing Coming to Washington's Best-Traveled Bike Lane

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WAMU

The busiest bike lane in the District of Columbia will be repaved this summer.

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Transportation Nation

D.C.'s DOT Reverses Street Calming Measures After City Councilman Complains

Thursday, June 13, 2013

WAMU

After years of study, D.C.'s transportation department implemented traffic calming measures on one stretch of road. But following complaints by a council member, the city reversed direction and returned the road to its old condition, angering residents who say the city bowed to political pressure.

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Transportation Nation

D.C. Cycle Track Construction To Begin In August

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

WAMU

Construction of a westbound bike lane connecting Georgetown with downtown D.C. could begin in August, District transportation planners said Monday during a walking tour of the proposed M Street track.

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Transportation Nation

Thousands Sign Up for New York City Bike Share in First Hours of Registration

Monday, April 15, 2013

UPDATED. Registration for New York's bike share system officially opened at 11 am Monday, and by 3 pm, some 2500 people had signed up. By 3:30 pm Tuesday, 5000 people had purchased $103 annual memberships, according to DOT spokesman Scott Gastel.

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Transportation Nation

Following Public Pressure, Metro Will Add More Bus Service to DC's Busiest Corridor

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Commuters at 16th and U Streets NW

Commuters at 16th and U Streets NW

Additional morning rush hour service is coming to Metro’s busiest bus corridor in Washington after the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission took commuters’ complaints to the transit authority.

The S bus line on 16th Street NW, a historic gateway into downtown D.C., is struggling to meet ridership demand. Buses are often packed before reaching the southern stretch of the route and cannot squeeze additional passengers aboard, leaving rush hour commuters waiting in long lines at bus stops in Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, and near Dupont Circle. Some commuters eventually give up and hop in taxis.

“I went out to the bus stops and I saw taxicabs pull up to the long lines, seeing a business opportunity and offering to take them downtown, because the buses weren’t working for our city,” says Kishan Putta, a commissioner on the Dupont Circle ANC.

Putta tried to solicit commuters’ concerns on Facebook and Twitter but drew his largest response the old fashioned way: he put up posters at bus stops asking commuters to contact him.

“We took those stories and those complaints to Metro and they agreed to meet us,” in January, Putta says. “They had to admit in public this is a big problem.”

Putta provided the following example of a typical commuter complaint about crowding on the S line.

“I actively chose to walk 45 minutes to work during every day this week rather than take the bus despite the temperatures in the teens and howling winds,” the commuter’s complaint said. “On the one day when I decided it would be better for my health and well-being to take the bus I waited at the bus stop for 20 minutes.”

“Just this week it has taken me 45-50 minutes to get from 16th & V to 14th & I, and anywhere from 4 to 6 buses have passed the stop each morning because they are too crowded to accept any more passengers,” another complaint said.

Metro has been aware of S line bus crowding for years but its efforts haven’t kept up with growing ridership. In 2009 the S9, which makes limited stops on 16th Street NW, was added during morning and evening rush hours to alleviate crowding.

“Bus ridership remains strong especially with all the new residents moving into the district,” says Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. “There are new residential units along this corridor and so we want to make sure we are providing service for the folks who want it.”

Stessel says Metro has yet to decide on a name for the new S service, but says it will begin on Monday, March 25. An additional bus will arrive at 16th Street and Harvard NW every 12 minutes from 7:30 to 9:15 weekday mornings. A total of nine additional trips will go down 16th Street, then left on I St to 14th Street. Then the buses will head back to Columbia Road NW. The extra capacity will carry between 400 and 500 commuters on a busy morning.

“This issue didn’t just crop up two months ago. We’ve been working on the S line and broader issues related to the S line for more than a year now,” Stessel says. “That said, the relationship we’ve had over the last two months with the ANC has been nothing but constructive.”

“I will take my hat off to Metro,” says Putta. “They were responsive. We worked together on coming up with possible options.”

Still no answer to 16th Street traffic

Putta concedes that while the additional morning rush hour bus service will help move commuters south on 16th Street, the district faces a bigger task in mitigating the corridor’s notorious traffic congestion.

“As with a lot of these long-term solutions, you would need to do a transition so that you would hopefully get less people driving. And of course, the physical limitations of the road are definitely an issue,” says Putta, referring to the possibility of creating a bus-only lane on 16th Street during rush hour.

Metro’s Stessel says the transit authority is working on a solution.

“It’s an ongoing dialogue that we have not only with DDOT but with all of the jurisdictions,” Stessel says. “A major milestone will be achieved about a year from now when we launch what is true BRT (bus rapid transit) in the region for the first time. That will be on the Virginia side of the river in partnership with Alexandria and Arlington.”

The Route 1 Transitway will run buses every six minutes in dedicated lanes from Braddock Road in Arlington north to Crystal City.

“We hope that will spark other jurisdictions to consider, if not true BRT, perhaps traffic signal prioritization or more bus lanes,” says Stessel. “From a public policy perspective, if you have a vehicle that has 50 people in it, that really should get priority over a car that has one person in it.”

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